- Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes.
- Line the bottom and sides of the cake tin with bakewell paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then fold in the sifted flour.
- Add the sieved breadsoda, vanilla extract and coffee to the date and tea and stir this into the mixture.
- Turn into the lined tin and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours or until a skewer comes out clean.
To make the sauce:
- Put the butter and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and gradually stir in the cream and the vanilla extract.
- Put back on the heat and stir for 2 or 3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
- Pour some hot sauce on to a serving plate.
- Put the sticky toffee pudding on top, pour lots more sauce over the top.
- Put the remainder into a bowl, and to serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.